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Offline Irisado

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The Queen
« on: September 9, 2022, 08:59:06 AM »
I'm neither a royalist nor a republican, so it has been a strange twelve hours or so for me.  My mum really loved the Queen (they shared the same day of birth) and so it was quite a difficult day for me yesterday for that reason.  The Queen's death certainly adds to the ever increasing sense of the UK having lost its way and being a very unstable place in which to live.

The timing of her death, so soon after seeing off Johnson, is significant for me.  I'd said to my dad and a friend in recent times that she would only die after accepting Johnson's resignation (let's not forget that he lied to the Queen and there were parties in Downing Street in breach of lockdown rules on the same day as Prince Philip's funeral).  I turned out to be right.

Whatever anyone thinks about the concept of a monarchy, it is a difficult time and the next few days are going to rather surreal and there will be this feeling of uncertainty.  It will probably take some time for the country to work through this.  Even once it has though, the prospects for the UK remain bleak in this Brexit Britain.
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Offline Wyddr

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #1 on: September 9, 2022, 01:47:22 PM »
The Queen is a weird thing for me, as an American, to fully grok, but I sort of mentally equate it with, like, the idea of Uncle Sam as a person, walking around. And yeah, I can see how that person dying would put the country in a weird place. I genuinely hope you guys find a bright way through.

That said, kings and queens are bizarre and expensive relics and you should probably stop with all that. Just make demigods out of the military industrial complex, like America does. Then you still might be pissing away all your money, but at least that money can get shipped off to Ukraine to blow up Russians.   

Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #2 on: September 9, 2022, 09:37:46 PM »
I've seen a lot of irreverent memes around, and I've chuckled at several of them too. It's one of those huge events where you sorta disconnect from the human aspect. And obviously, there are parts of the world where the British monarchy isn't exactly thought of with fondness by many.

But I totally get the sense of unease and numbness. I suspect I will feel like that when King Harald passes away too. Someone who is so closely tied to the national self-perception and who has been around for all of your life - and in Elizabeth's case, significantly longer - it's a strange situation.

Offline PaxImperatrix

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2022, 06:55:46 AM »
The eight o'clock news here spent an inordinate amount of time covering this the day before yesterday. Elizabeth II was certainly important, but not important enough to turn a 30-minute broadcast into 51 minutes, 35 of them about this single event. And they didn't even have any time left for the weather. I suppose it's to be expected, but still slightly annoying. Something else I don't get is that some people are shocked by her death. Her health was known to be ailing and she was 96 years old. What were people expecting?

I can relate to the sense of grief and unease many in the UK are feeling. Wyddr's metaphor of Uncle Sam personified is apt. Much like the Dutch monarchs, the British monarchs are effectively avatars for their country's national unity. To lose that avatar, especially in turbulent times, is bound to cause a commotion.

She died in the saddle and I'm sure she wouldn't have had it any other way. Seems like her sense of duty won out over any desire for a better quality of life in her final years. Irisado may be onto something with his theory about her wanting to outlive Johnson's premiership. It's remarkable how just the will to live seems able to actually keep a person alive. My girlfriend has seen it in elderly patients wanting to live to see a grandchild born or celebrate a birthday, then dying shortly after.

I'm conflicted about the idea of a monarchy. I do not believe in the divine right of kings and don't think anyone has any business being born into high office. It doesn't get much more anti-egalitarian than that. On the other hand I see the value of having a non-partisan figurehead for people to rally around. We have enough polarisation here already even without an elected president. I can live with our current model of a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch has little if any formal power.

That said, kings and queens are bizarre and expensive relics and you should probably stop with all that. Just make demigods out of the military industrial complex, like America does. Then you still might be pissing away all your money, but at least that money can get shipped off to Ukraine to blow up Russians.

Alternatively you could have a fertility cult and flip it on its head so you can value embryos and foetuses more highly than the women in whose uteruses they live (or indeed more highly than any other form of life). I hear that idea's been catching on in the States lately. ;)

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2022, 08:22:02 PM »
It made big news even here in USA! Quite surprising to me given that she's not the queen of our country. Sounds like she was just trying to hold on until Johnson wasn't PM any more.

Hopefully it's a smooth transition for you all.
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Offline Irisado

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2022, 12:07:00 PM »
The media coverage has been too much.  I have had to avoid all news for the last two days, as there is nothing but coverage of the royal family and the reaction.  The news presenters are really struggling to find things to say at the times and it's all rather embarrassing in that respect.  I'm sure that the Queen would not have been amused by it.  This is not to say that all the coverage is bad.  When something of note is actually happening, it has been very good and it makes sense to cover specific events selectively, but this twenty-four hour wall-to-wall commentary is becoming rather annoying.

The most interesting and disturbing event that I have seen when I did briefly turn the news on to watch the headlines at the start was the moment when Charles was formally proclaimed king.  This has never before been televised and it shocked me as to just how medieval the process is.  The Privy Council (which includes current and former prime minsiters and other key individuals) essentially just has to confirm the new monarch.  It's all incredibly bizarre and couldn't stop thinking about how out of touch this is with contemporary politics and how much money is being spent/wasted (interestingly to spend and to waste are the same verb in Spanish ;)) to put on this spectacle: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62860893 & http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62856212.  All of this emphasises to me just how much the UK constitution needs to be a) modernised and b) codified.

Note that, like Pax, I'm not necessarily keen on replacing the monarchy with something else.  I would just like to see the entire British political system to be modernised and made relevant for the 21st century.  This medieval style pageantry does not do it for me.  The Queen's death feels like the right moment to modernise, yet the current government will, in all probability, change absolutely nothing.

As for the Queen herself, I think that her death has shocked people simply because she has been Queen for so long and has often seemed to be immortal.  It's also the timing.  The UK is in a very bad place at the moment, despite the denials of the mendacious Brexiteers, and her death further taps into this sense of unease and loss of direction and identity for this country.  She does deserve an appropriate send off and that should be televised, but it would good if they could just cut back on the non-stop coverage.  I'm sure that she would not mind.
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Offline Grand Master Lomandalis

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2022, 03:45:17 PM »
That said, kings and queens are bizarre and expensive relics...
Wasn't it shown a while ago that the crown actually generates more revenue from tourism than they cost the taxpayer?

For me, getting the news that the Queen had passed hit me a lot harder than I was expecting.  When I was sworn in to the Canadian Armed Forces, the oath I made was to her.  The name on my commissioning scroll is hers.  Yeah... they include verbiage about "heirs and successors," but even still... just feels weird.

Canadians seem to be split in two minds since she passed and Charles was proclaimed King, which is summed up perfectly by these two clips:
https://youtu.be/-YtLbqtV1v0
✂️ now come the days of the king - YouTube

Personally, while I know the history of monarchy isn't the cleanest, what they strive to do in more modern times is admirable.  I like having that figure head that we can have as a guide when our politicians become batamphetamine parrot crazy.  Granted, the crown has less influence over here and the Governor General is more of a political appointment by whichever party is in power at the time, but the idea is nice.
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Re: The Queen
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2022, 01:53:54 AM »
The media coverage has been too much.  I have had to avoid all news for the last two days, as there is nothing but coverage of the royal family and the reaction.  The news presenters are really struggling to find things to say at the times and it's all rather embarrassing in that respect.  I'm sure that the Queen would not have been amused by it.  This is not to say that all the coverage is bad.  When something of note is actually happening, it has been very good and it makes sense to cover specific events selectively, but this twenty-four hour wall-to-wall commentary is becoming rather annoying.

That puts my complaint about missing the weather report into perspective. Coverage here has thankfully been more restrained than what you describe.

The most interesting and disturbing event that I have seen when I did briefly turn the news on to watch the headlines at the start was the moment when Charles was formally proclaimed king.  This has never before been televised and it shocked me as to just how medieval the process is.  The Privy Council (which includes current and former prime minsiters and other key individuals) essentially just has to confirm the new monarch.  It's all incredibly bizarre and couldn't stop thinking about how out of touch this is with contemporary politics and how much money is being spent/wasted (interestingly to spend and to waste are the same verb in Spanish ;)) to put on this spectacle: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62860893 & http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62856212.  All of this emphasises to me just how much the UK constitution needs to be a) modernised and b) codified.

They will then be guilty of running up the government debt. :) Dutch uses the same words for guilt and debt.

Note that, like Pax, I'm not necessarily keen on replacing the monarchy with something else.  I would just like to see the entire British political system to be modernised and made relevant for the 21st century.  This medieval style pageantry does not do it for me.  The Queen's death feels like the right moment to modernise, yet the current government will, in all probability, change absolutely nothing.

Thinking about it some more, I could probably also live with a republican system like Germany's, in which the president's duties are largely ceremonial. That would come close to our current model although the head of state would then be less able to act as a non-partisan figurehead due to them being elected for a given term rather than serving for life. I probably wouldn't support replacing the constitutional monarchy for it though, simply because I know what to expect from our current system but not how a republic would work out in practice.

Offline Irisado

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2022, 08:37:36 AM »
This is the crux of the problem.  Replacing the monarchy looks very good on paper, but you have to be sure that it is correctly executed.  A president as head of state can work very well, but it can also be problematic (the clashes between presidents and prime ministers in some Central and Eastern European countries illustrate this problem very starky).  In the short-term, I would really like to see modernisation though.  The medieval pageantry simply is no longer necessary and a codified constitution is essential.
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Offline Blazinghand

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2022, 04:12:18 AM »
I heard that Canada was able to codify a constitution without removing the monarchy, and it seems like they're not having the overdone pageantry. Might that be a best of both worlds solution?
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Offline Grand Master Lomandalis

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2022, 02:16:51 PM »
I heard that Canada was able to codify a constitution without removing the monarchy, and it seems like they're not having the overdone pageantry. Might that be a best of both worlds solution?
We do and we don't have the pageantry.

We don't have the pageantry surrounding the funeral for the simple reason that we don't have the monarchy within our borders.  Our government works in much the same way that the British does in that our bills are passed by the House of Commons and need royal ascent. Here, that is given by the Governor General and not by the Queen King.  The biggest example of pageantry we had after the Queen passed was that the Prime Minister and Governor-General signed a proclamation that "officially" had Charles ascend as King of Canada.

I think it is fair to say that our level of pageantry is more paying lip-service to the idea that our Head of State is the Queen King.
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Re: The Queen
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2022, 05:56:38 PM »
Our government works in much the same way that the British does in that our bills are passed by the House of Commons and need royal ascent. Here, that is given by the Governor General and not by the Queen King.

That's basically how Kiwiland works as well.
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Offline Grand Master Lomandalis

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2022, 09:42:48 PM »
Our government works in much the same way that the British does in that our bills are passed by the House of Commons and need royal ascent. Here, that is given by the Governor General and not by the Queen King.

That's basically how Kiwiland works as well.
Think all Commonwealth nations that have a Parliament do lol
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Re: The Queen
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2022, 10:06:18 PM »
We don't need to have a House of Commons or anything so fancy. Parliament has to be introduced to the bill and have it read to them a few times, busy people you know, then off to the GG for the final salute.
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Re: The Queen
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2022, 12:31:50 PM »
I heard that Canada was able to codify a constitution without removing the monarchy, and it seems like they're not having the overdone pageantry. Might that be a best of both worlds solution?

Perhaps the UK could depose the Windsors and recognise the House of Orange-Nassau as their lawful sovereigns? Wouldn't cost you a penny and I'm sure they'd be happy to sit on a throne in England again. :)

On a slightly more serious note, there's apparently a monarchy available at every price point, from a relatively modest € 8 million (Spain) all the way up to € 51 million (Norway). I suspect those figures may not be entirely reliable or comparable. It was especially surprising to me how much pomp and circumstance the British get out of their € 45 million budget compared to the Dutch € 41 million budget.

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2022, 06:48:04 PM »
We mock the pageantry but learning some of the reasons behind it are fun. Like how the coffin is carried by a gun carriage pulled by RN personnel. Queen Victoria just decided, beslubber it, slap my bones on a gun carriage. On the day of her funeral it was so cold the horses pulling it got a bit annoyed and nearly toppled the thing so the RN leapt in and started doing the job themselves. They also nicked off with the carriage at the end first as a trophy but now as tradition. It was officially awarded to them eventually.
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2022, 10:42:43 PM »
I heard that Canada was able to codify a constitution without removing the monarchy, and it seems like they're not having the overdone pageantry. Might that be a best of both worlds solution?

Perhaps the UK could depose the Windsors and recognise the House of Orange-Nassau as their lawful sovereigns? Wouldn't cost you a penny and I'm sure they'd be happy to sit on a throne in England again. :)

On a slightly more serious note, there's apparently a monarchy available at every price point, from a relatively modest € 8 million (Spain) all the way up to € 51 million (Norway). I suspect those figures may not be entirely reliable or comparable. It was especially surprising to me how much pomp and circumstance the British get out of their € 45 million budget compared to the Dutch € 41 million budget.

Our monarchy has a higher budget than Spain's?

That's WILD.

We have like one royal palace and some country estates with a smattering of vehicles associated with them. We do not have extended titles of nobility (no royal cousins becoming dukes or anything) either.

There's obviously a lot of costs when it comes to the the maintenance of old buildings and the costs of security and the royal guard, but I can't imagine we have more of that then the Spanish. Huh.

I will say this though: not a lot of pageantry over here, at least not when compared to the Brits. Although I did hand King Harald a bouquet of wildflowers once when I was in elementary, so that was pretty fancy.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 10:44:09 PM by Sir_Godspeed »

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2022, 01:15:21 AM »
Our monarchy has a higher budget than Spain's?

That's WILD.

Yes, there must be different accounting methods at play here or something.

I will say this though: not a lot of pageantry over here, at least not when compared to the Brits. Although I did hand King Harald a bouquet of wildflowers once when I was in elementary, so that was pretty fancy.

Better than my memory of being shunted out of the way by photojournalists as a toddler when then-Queen Beatrix visited my town. Didn't so much as catch a glimpse of her. Scum of the earth, photojournalists.

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Re: The Queen
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2022, 11:33:58 AM »
I heard that Canada was able to codify a constitution without removing the monarchy, and it seems like they're not having the overdone pageantry. Might that be a best of both worlds solution?

Perhaps the UK could depose the Windsors and recognise the House of Orange-Nassau as their lawful sovereigns? Wouldn't cost you a penny and I'm sure they'd be happy to sit on a throne in England again. :)

On a slightly more serious note, there's apparently a monarchy available at every price point, from a relatively modest € 8 million (Spain) all the way up to € 51 million (Norway). I suspect those figures may not be entirely reliable or comparable. It was especially surprising to me how much pomp and circumstance the British get out of their € 45 million budget compared to the Dutch € 41 million budget.
What I find interesting about that link is that the British Royal family has the second highest cost at €45 million, but is the second lowest in terms of cost for the tax payers at €0.70.  I guess that really does lend credence to the idea that their holdings bring in a significant revenue from tourism.
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Re: The Queen
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2022, 01:59:19 AM »
The British royal family surely does add revenue from tourism. The same study I linked to however also rates the British monarchy as 'poorly transparent'. That's better than Spain ('not transparent') but worse than the Netherlands and Norway ('relatively transparent'). The British monarchy could have any number of hidden costs so I'd be wary of making any definite claims about its financial costs and benefits. The same of course goes for the others to a greater or lesser extent.

For an additional data point, here's a seemingly less thoroughly researched but more recent newspiece about the costs of European monarchies. It takes the official numbers given on the various royal families' websites at face value, which come to: UK $107M, Netherlands $49M, Norway $49M, Spain $9M. That's an especially big increase for the UK, which makes me more suspicious of the €45M cost stated on Wikipedia. Spain's number is consistently and suspiciously low.

 


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